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Two Norfolk lighthouses included among UK’s top 100

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Alongside three from Suffolk, the lighthouses in Cromer and Happisburgh are listed in Roger O’Reilly’s new book Legendary Lighthouses of Britain.

O’Reilly is the artist behind the work in the Lighthouse Editions gallery. In 2017, he began to sketch those on the shores of Ireland and now has over 350 prints in his collection.

He has been illustrating and storyboarding for advertising, film, and publishing industries since 1988, including working on the Vikings TV series.

Roger said: “Lighthouses capture the imagination in a way that few other structures in our built environment do.”

North Norfolk News: Roger O'Reilly's new book Legendary Lighthouses of Britain features two from NorfolkRoger O’Reilly’s new book Legendary Lighthouses of Britain features two from Norfolk (Image: Watkins Publishing)

His book explores the sea legends and ghost stories, alongside historical information of the lighthouses.

For Cromer, Roger discusses the erosion which has affected the town’s lighthouse, saying: “In 1799, 1825, and 1852, large parts off the cliff slipped down into the sea, with the building finally being destroyed by a landslide in 1866.”

The current structure is set half a mile from the cliff edge, yet the gap continues to close due to erosion.

North Norfolk News: The Cromer lighthouse imagery which features in Legendary Lighthouses of BritainThe Cromer lighthouse imagery which features in Legendary Lighthouses of Britain (Image: Roger O’Reilly)

Roger describes Happisburgh as unique, saying it is “the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia, and the only independently run lighthouse in Great Britain”.

READ MORE: Norfolk holiday spot named among 10 most tranquil breaks in UK

It was built after a storm in 1789 that saw nearly 70 sailing ships and more 600 lives lost off the Norfolk coast.

North Norfolk News: The Happisburgh lighthouse imagery which features in Legendary Lighthouses of BritainThe Happisburgh lighthouse imagery which features in Legendary Lighthouses of Britain (Image: Roger O’Reilly)

While Winterton and Old Hunstanton lighthouses are not included, they also have interesting stories. For example, Winterton’s lighthouse was used in the war effort in the Second World War as a lookout.

They were both constructed in the 17th century and now operate as holiday cottages. 

Across the border in Suffolk, the lighthouses of Lowestoft, Southwold and Orford Ness are also included in the book, released by Watkins Publishing.

North Norfolk News: Happisburgh lighthouseHappisburgh lighthouse (Image: Newsquest)

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